Matt Colegate and the team at JOCO, have worked for over 10 years to create a loyal and growing customer base centred around their store’s strong brand values. It’s these values, coupled with solid SEO and a true understanding of their customer, that have helped them stand out online.
One thing’s for certain though, it’s their passion for the environment and their commitment to being 100% plastic-free that’s driven them forward.
Matt and the team took the time to share some of their thoughts on running a successful online store and how it’s evolved over the years.
What inspired you to start JOCO?
The JOCO brand was conceived back in 2008. It was through a personal protest to the eye-opening amount of Plastic and single-use waste that was being created by our daily routines. Waste and plastic items that could so easily be avoided.
What’s unique about your business? Why do your customers keep coming back to you?
JOCO set out to stop single-use waste but also to refuse plastic. JOCO is 100% plastic free!
We believe that you can experience life’s luxuries without taking a toll on health or the natural environment.
JOCO delivers products that are designed for people and the planet. Aiming to make reuse a stylish and coveted part of the daily ritual, every product has various elements that enhance the experience.
All JOCO products are designed, developed and produced in house. Made by artists, NOT machines, every JOCO product empowers the individual to make a positive impact whilst enhancing their daily ritual.
We have a very loyal and growing return customer base. Many are adding to their personal product collection, as we now service hydration needs too. A lot are also buying for their loved ones and sharing their found product solutions with their network which is great!
The JOCO brand is relevant to a broad demographic and the brand values and products add value to the individual way of living, so consumers can easily and enjoyably adopt the JOCO products into their daily lives.
What do you think are the key reasons for the success of JOCO and would you do anything differently if you were starting it today?
Brand values are the key to success. We had many hurdles in working outside of the plastic world, and there were many pressures to fall back into the growing vortex of plastic.
Having clear values that can be used to check all actions and direction of the business is vital to successfully guide a business through the setbacks and hurdles.
For JOCO, we have been 100% plastic-free since day one. What was believed to be a limiting factor in delivering a commercial product to the modern world, has become an area of new opportunity.
JOCO product is derived from strong brand values. From strong brand values, organic brand messaging develops. Consumers are now more than ever looking to buy into a brand that has substance, not just a brand with a product.
When a product has been derived from a trend in the market, and ‘off the shelf ‘ products are adopted with the simple aim of making money, they lack the genuine brand substance that consumers are looking for.
What were some challenges you encountered when starting, that you didn’t anticipate?
Working outside of the plastic world involved many more hurdles than expected. The modern world has become really good at making plastic, and really good at removing the waste from sight. So we had big challenges in finding the skills sets required to produce non-plastic products.
Being able to compete with the cheap and easy aspects of plastic was very hard. We had to develop new techniques from the ground up and become experts in this area in order to deliver a commercial and real-life solution that would combat the modern world’s obsession with cheap convenience.
Do you use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc, to promote your businesses? How successful has it been for you?
We use social media to connect brand messages with our supporter base and new individuals.
There is a lot of ‘white noise ‘ across social media that quite often crowds on trend areas of interest. The direct and real-time connection with consumers is great, but it also exposes the consumer to a growing number of ‘off the shelf ‘ brands. Brands aimed at selling a trend and cashing in using detuned cheap replicas that can actually worsen the issues that the product is supposed to be solving.
Once again brand values, create organic brand actions and content that can separate a business from the white noise. It is important to be consistent but also to know your customers and how you fit into their daily lives with value.
I think a lot of social media strategies get caught in a trap of saying something for the sake of posting. Know your audience, know your position and add value, as people get very tired of white noise.
What has been the most effective way to drive traffic to your website?
Organic SEO is still our number one driver to site. A lot of this is through earnt publicity and review, once again these are organic factors of having substance behind a brand and the reasons for the product, as opposed to jumping on a trend. We support this with remarketing but to date do very little paid advertising.
What’s it like running your business? What does a typical day look like?
A typical day kicks off before sunrise with exercise and a surf which is a great way to get prepared for the day ahead.
The JOCO HQ is located in Torquay, Victoria which is a coastal town built around surfing.
A morning team catch up over coffee leads me into all areas of the business as we have a very dynamic and integrated way of working as opposed to isolated departments.
I personally focus on brand and product development while also overseeing business direction and development. I work with the directors of each area on the finer detail.
The working environment could be described as laid back but fast-paced, relaxed but professional. Fun and a strong work/life balance which is essential.
You use a number of Iconic plugins, including Show Single Variations for your store, how has it helped you and your online shop?
As we offer many colours in each product, the most important plugin is Show Single Variations, as it allows us to show the customer all of the available colours, instead of just one. So we can still configure variable products exactly as we need to but still show our full product collection.
If you could give one piece of advice to new and emerging store owners, what would it be?
Take your time to plan out your store well and ensure that you are using the platforms best suited to your current needs, but that also has the room for growth.
Having support from the platform provider to evolve areas that continue to enhance all aspects of your online business. Being able to provide the best consumer experience, while also retaining consumer analytics so you can better serve your customers is important.
Have a good understanding of your brand messages and the layers in which these can be communicated. Being able to deliver your messages in short form, long form and also with imagery/graphics alone is important.
Where to find JOCO
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